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Need for affordable homes is severe in two thirds of councils 11/05/2018 Labelled as Development

Almost two thirds of councils describe their need for affordable housing as 'severe' amid rise in homelessness, according to a new report by the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) and the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE).


The report, 'Delivering affordable homes in a changing world', is the fourth in a series of research collaborations between the TCPA and the APSE, looks at the effectiveness of national housing and planning policy from the perspective of UK local authorities, highlighting a growing need for affordable housing.


Key findings of the research were:


  • 63% of councils describe that their need for affordable housing is 'severe' and -- 35% describe their need as 'moderate'.


  • 71% of councils in England and 75% in Wales say that levels of statutory homelessness have increased in their local authority area over the past year.#


  • 57% of councils in England and 62% in Wales say that rough sleeping has increased in their local authority area over the past year.


  • 43% of councils in England and 62% of councils in Wales say that their levels of 'hidden homeless' has increased over the past year.


  • 62% of councils say that their main model of delivering social and affordable housing is through the planning process via s106 agreements.


  • 30% of councils in England say that permitted development is reducing their ability to build affordable homes; 4% said that permitted development has had a positive impact on their ability to build affordable homes and 54% said it has had no impact.


The report further underlines the case for council housing made by ARCH in our paper "Social housing we can all be proud of" and among the key recommendations in the report is a recommendation that:


 "The government should respect the principles of self-financing by returning control to local authorities over their investment plans, rents and assets including extending the budget commitment to lifting the HRA borrowing cap on councils in areas of 'high affordability pressures' to all authorities with housing stock and enabling councils to retain 100% of their Right to Buy receipts to reinvest into building new affordable housing"


Prior to publication of the report, ARCH Chief Executive, John Bibby, participated in a high-level roundtable discussion with the report authors to discuss the research findings and help frame the report's recommendations.  


Commenting on the launch of the report to an invited audience at Portcullis House John said:


"I welcome this report, the findings of which underline and reinforce the case ARCH has been making for investment in council housing through our own document 'Social housing we can all be proud of'. If the Prime Minister is serious when she says she want to commit to 'a new generation of council housing' then the government must re-commit to and re-instate the principles of the HRA self-financing settlement introduced with all-party support under the Localism Act 2011"

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